Is This Fair Use?

We talked about the battle over copyright and fair use between the Press Association and Shepard Fairey back in October. The post is here – Art News: From Populist Hero to Plagiarising Hypocritebut, in a nutshell, the Press Association ended up in a lawsuit with Fairey over whether he should owe any royalties over his career defining Obama “Hope” poster. Fairey admitted destroying evidence showing he had Continue reading

Controlling the symbols of power: Who decides?

Obamao! Lmao!

We are constantly surrounded by all sorts of symbols, so much so that we seldom stop to consider their meanings or their effects on us until someone points them out. But perhaps we should pay more attention, because symbols have power. If they didn’t, governments wouldn’t attempt to censor and control any number of them. Although many of these may seem failrly innocuous to most of us, here’s a few Continue reading

The Weekly Revisit

This is just a quick update on a few of our posts from the last week.

Follow up #1: Will a new “American Dream” emerge from the current recession?

First of all, in recession news, the New York Times yesterday carried another story of large amounts of people applying for Continue reading

Art News: From Populist Art Hero to Plagiarising Hypocrite

You're a fucking thief

You're a fucking thief

When guerilla street artist Shepard Fairey produced the Obama Hope poster in 2008 it confirmed him in the eyes of the art world as a great new talent. The New Yorker art critic, Peter Schjeldahl called the poster, “the most efficacious American political illustration since “Uncle Sam Wants You”.

The poster hooked into the growing wave of “Obamania” sweeping across the US and Fairey distributed 300,000 stickers and 500,000 posters during the US election campaign and, as a consequence, saw his poster and fine art sales go through the roof. As a final seal of approval he received a personal letter from Barack Obama endorsing his art… Continue reading

Who let the dogs out? America’s right wing is barking

First, Facebook assassination polls; now talk of military coups. What the hell is going on? You’d think the U.S. was burning down and being overrun by hoardes of Commies and Islamo-fascists rather than just progressing though a significant recession.

I don’t mind strong critique when it is either useful, fact based, or done with a little humour, but the tone of some of this material is getting worrisome, especially the now constant reference to the “Obama Problem”, a new catch-all phrase that is never clearly defined. Of course, after the Facebook poll we all know what the final solution to this “problem” is, don’t we?

The John L. Perry* piece below (which has now been taken down from  its original site on, a conservative news site) needs/deserves to be read in its entirety. It was posted a couple of days ago and has caused quite a stir. Is it close to treason? Methinks it might be.

So, read away and let the incredulity begin:

Continue reading

Are we at the beginning of the end for newspapers?

For the last 200 years, the newspaper has functioned as the most authoritative disseminator of both news and up-to-date information across much of the world. This privileged position at the top of the information pyramid may be about to change. Now, many newspapers are struggling to survive, hit by a double whammy of falling readership and lower advertising revenue. While we might blame the drop in advertising revenue on the current recession, readership we cannot, as normally the pattern in recessions is for newspaper sales to increase.

Continue reading

Spanish PM’s Goth Teen Daughters — THE Photo!

Another political photograph — two in a row! Well, that’s what you get when there’s a G20 meeting going on.

And once again, a “moment” is captured, one that the Spanish delegation have been trying to to remove from all public display ever since.

Continue reading